Are You Committed to Success or Open to Failure?

When Alexander the Great arrived on the shores of Persia, his army was severely outnumbered by his enemies. Despite the grim situation, he was not deterred. In fact, he was so emboldened with confidence in his ability to win, that he gave orders to his men to burn their boats. As their only means of possible retreat went up in flames, it has been said that Alexander turned to his men and said, “We go home in Persian ships, or we die.” His men must have been shocked by his statement and actions. Nevertheless they had no other choice but to fight, literally for their lives. What followed next was an astounding victory over an army that was in many ways superior. It’s amazing what we find we are capable of when pressed to the mat and forced to act.

As for me, I find I’m more conservative, feeling more comfortable having options. I like having a Plan B (and maybe a plan C too). It’s hard to argue a case for not having contingencies, especially for worst-case scenarios. They give us a sense of security. It’s a way to manage expectations… an exit plan if you will. History is littered with examples of times when just such a retreat plan has proven wise. However, there is something to be said for challenging ourselves. I mean really challenging our abilities. “There is nothing impossible to him who will try,” Alexander the Great said (circa 348 BC).

I’m not advocating taking severe actions or making rash decisions in order to realize your maximum potential, but I am suggesting you consider just how committed you are. Think about your business. Dependent upon your ultimate vision and goals for your company, your actions will vary. However, for those looking to find great success, you might need to step up your commitment level.


For many entrepreneurs, countless hours are spent trying to get the business up and running. For others, time spent competes with family, personal interests, and in many cases another job. Ask yourself: What are you spending your time on? Where you spend your time is where you are investing in your dreams. If your dream is a successful business, are you investing an adequate amount of time to ensure success? If you struggle finding the time you need, you may need to reassess your priorities. More often than not, we waste time on insignificant tasks and activities that may seem important at the moment, but are merely momentary distractions.


While you are driving, what do you think about? Just before you fall asleep at night or right when you wake up, what do you think about? The issues that fill your mind during your “down” time are the ones your heart is most concerned with. Where is your heart? Is it preoccupied with your business? If it is, this is good; it means you are passionate about your company. If you only think about your business because you have to, then it’s possible your heart isn’t in it. Success will be more difficult without the natural passion that comes to those who truly live and breathe their company.


Probably the most challenging hurdle for businesses is producing the resources needed to accomplish the goals of the company. The phrases “put your money where your mouth is” and “you have to pay to play” couldn’t be any truer than in the business world. Entrepreneurs should be the first to invest their limited resources into their business and most do, but to what extent will determine the outcome. You do not need to mortgage your mother’s home in addition to yours to finance your company. We all possess other “resources” that could serve to find the cash needed without compromising home, safety and security. Tenacity, passion, and perseverance, among other traits, will prove invaluable.

Burning My Own Ships

As I write this article, I want to share that I intend to take my own advice. About two years ago I started toying with the idea of a nut-free bakery. My son is severely allergic to nuts so we can’t go to just any bakery. Nearly every bakery uses nuts. The prospect of eating a cross-contaminated baked good poses a life threatening risk that I will not wager my son’s life on. Without any local viable options for us, I took my idea to the next level about eight months ago and properly opened a business. Now I find myself struggling as I toggle between my consulting and my bakery. In order to prove my sincere commitment to the bakery, I am closing my consulting business (burning my boats so to speak) so that I may focus all my efforts on growing my bakery.

I will miss helping others with their businesses, but think that helping those with nut allergies by providing safe and sweet treats will be the best use of my skills and talents at this time. If you are ever in need of nut free sweets, visit Dreamy Desserts. If you are in need of marketing assistance, please feel free to contact me as well and I will refer you to some amazing people I know that can help you.

Committed or Just Very Interested?

Think about your business. How much time do you spend on it? Are you passionate about your business? Are you investing your resources to help it grow? If you burned your boats, do you think you would be successful? Truly successful companies started with individuals who were sincerely committed — not just very interested. Think about your business and if it’s not meeting your goals, consider the possibilities as to why. Are you truly committed to success or is it possible that you are open to failure?

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